Published: Tue, October 23, 2018
Business | By Tara Barton

Dyson will build electric cars in Singapore for a 2021 launch

Dyson will build electric cars in Singapore for a 2021 launch

The company, best known for its vacuum cleaners and other domestic appliances, revealed past year that it has been working on developing an electric vehicle.

Dyson announced his decision to launch electric cars previous year - a sector in which the company will face stiff competition from established players.

Dyson is investing more than £2bn on developing an electric vehicle, and in August revealed plans to spend £200m building test tracks for cars at a former wartime airbase near the company's Wiltshire headquarters.

The 71-year-old entrepreneur, who backed Brexit in the 2016 referendum, already manufactures products such as hair dryers, air purification systems and bladeless fans in Asia, while its research and development remains in Britain.

Electric vehicles are increasing in popularity as governments worldwide drive forward plans to gradually phase out polluting petrol and diesel cars.

Dyson now employs 1100 people in Singapore where it already makes electric motors. Staff numbers in Singapore will double after it completes the new facility.

In an email to staff today, Jim Rowan, Dyson CEO, said the decision of where to make a auto is "complex, based on supply chains, access to markets, and the availability of the expertise that will help us achieve our ambitions" in a crowded marketplace.

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"Our existing footprint and team in Singapore, combined with the nation's significant advanced manufacturing expertise, made it a frontrunner".

But the city state has trade agreements with China and Japan and Dyson CEO Rowan said the comparatively high cost base would be offset by its technology expertise and focus.

The firm was keen to stress its commitment to Britain, saying it was investing £200m in new buildings and testing facilities at its campus at Hullavington Airfield.

"It is therefore the right place to make high-quality technology loaded machines, and the right place to make our electric vehicle".

Tesla, another EV producer, last week took a step toward building an auto plant in the Chinese city of Shanghai.

But Singapore welcomed the decision, which Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said will see auto assembly return to the city-state for the first time since the 1980s. Revenues leapt 40 per cent to £3.5 billion.

James Dyson, founder of the brand, has told GQ Magazine what the company is doing is "quite radical". "I was also delighted to hear that his company is working with our schools to inspire and mentor future generations of Singaporean engineers".

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